Your surgical wound will likely require care during the weeks following surgery. Detailed written instructions will be provided. You should plan on wearing a bandage and avoiding strenuous physical activity for a week. Most of our patients report minimal post-operative pain which responds readily to medicines prescribed at the time of discharge. You may experience a sensation of tightness across the area of surgery. Skin cancers frequently involve nerves and months may pass before your skin sensation returns to normal. In rare instances, the numbness may be permanent. You may also experience itching as your wound is healing. Complete healing of the surgical scar takes place over 12-18 months. Especially during the first few months and numbness, the site may feel thick, swollen, or lumpy, and there may be some redness. Gentle massage of the area (starting about 1 month after the surgery) will speed the healing process.
An indefinite follow-up period of observation is necessary after the wound has healed. You may be asked to return in six weeks and one year following the procedure. For skin care patients studies have shown that once you develop a skin cancer, there is a strong possibility of developing other skin cancers in the future. Should you notice any suspicious areas, it is best to check with your physician for a complete evaluation. You will be reminded to return to your dermatologist on a frequent basis for continued surveillance of your skin.